How to Extend RAID 5 Array or Partition in Windows

Jean updated on Dec 09, 2019 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

PAGE CONTENT:
Solution 1. Use RAID Array Partition Software to Extend/Expand RAID 5 Array
Solution 2. Use a Highpoint Controller
Solution 3. Add Extra Drive to Extend RAID 5

What Are RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and Raid 6

What RAID is the best? What is the difference between RAID 5 and RAID 6? You can get your answers here. RAID, Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a data storage virtualization technology that provides a way to save the same data in different places on multiple physical hard disks. 

RAID 0 splits data evenly across two or more disks, without parity information, redundancy, or fault tolerance. It is normally used to increase performance.

RAID 0 overview

RAID 1 refers to an exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two or more disks. It writes two copies of the data simultaneously on two separate drives. It is commonly used for small database systems, enterprise servers, and home PCs where fairly inexpensive fault tolerance is required. (See also: How to recover data from RAID 1.)

what is RAID 1

RAID 5 is a redundant array of independent disks configuration that uses disk striping with parity. It has more usable storage than RAID 1 and RAID 0 configurations and provides performance equivalent to RAID 0. RAID 5 groups have a minimum of three hard disk drives (HDDs) and no maximum. It is considered one of the most secure RAID configurations. RAID 5 uses parity instead of mirroring for data redundancy. When data is written to a RAID 5 drive, the system calculates parity and writes that parity into the drive. While mirroring maintains multiple copies of data in each volume to use in case of failure, RAID 5 can rebuild a failed drive using the parity data, which is not kept on a fixed single drive.

how does RAID 5 work

RAID 6 extends RAID 5 by adding another parity block. Thus, it uses block-level striping with two parity blocks distributed across all member disks. RAID 6 groups have a minimum of four hard disk drives. When large and reliable storage is needed, then RAID 6 is one of the best choices. It protects data if two disks failure happens.

everything about RAID6

Generally, RAID uses multiple disks working together to increase overall system performance for computer users, especially server users. That's the reason why you use RAID. However, some users are asking for ways to expand RAID 5.

Why Need to Expand/Extend RAID 5

Case 1: "I have a Highpoint Rocket RAID 454 for Windows XP SP2 and 2000 SP4 (+Rollup). One array is RAID-5 with three disks, and I would like to add another disk to this array. I know I can add a new disk if the array is broken but how would I 'expand' an existing (working) array without data loss?"

Case 2: "I have ML 350 G5 Server with 3 Hard disks currently configure RAID 5. My Question is here:Can I add New Hard Disk without destroying my current data and OS if so? What is the utility I am going to use?"

Case 3: "I've got a Compaq ML370G2 with three drives in a RAID5 array connected to a 5i controller. How do I go about adding a 4th drive to the array? Is there an application like in NetWare (cpqonlin.nlm) to do this?"

Have you ever come across the above cases that the RAID is out of space? Generally, the purpose of expanding the RAID 5 partition is to maximize the performance of server computers by having more disk space on RAID 5.

How to Expand/Extend RAID 5 (3 Ways)

When it comes to extending the RAID 5 volume, most users will first try to use Windows built-in Disk Management utility as it can deal with all kinds of management easily. However, RAID 5 volume can only be created in the dynamic disk and Disk Management cannot extend dynamic volume. That is to say, Disk Management cannot help you. But you can get help from the following solutions.

Solution 1. Use RAID Array Partition Software to Extend/Expand RAID 5 Array 

What you need is professional RAID 5 volume manager - EaseUS Partition Master Server. This software delivers the best disk management on Windows PCs/servers. It supports to manage dynamic volume and repair RAID-5 volumes easily and quickly. Follow the steps to expand RAID 5 with EaseUS Partition Master Server.

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 Server 2016 is supported

Step 1. Create unallocated space.

To extend a volume, make sure that there is unallocated space aside. Skip this step if there had any, otherwise, shrink the other neighboring volume which has enough free space. On the other volume, right-click your mouse and choose "Resize/Move".

choose the volume

Put your mouse on the volume, and drag one of its ends into unallocated space. Click "OK". 

drag the mouse leftwards to resize the volume

The selected volume has been decreased and spared some unallocated space. To save the changes, click "Execute Operation" and then "Apply".

apply changes to the volume

Step 2. Extend the volume.

Now you should go back to the target volume you wish to extend. Right-click on it and choose "Resize/Move". Next, do the same as the way of dragging the mouse towards the unallocated space, to merge the unallocated space into the volume. Click "OK". Finally, click "Execute Operation" and then "Apply". 

Solution 2. Use a Highpoint Controller

Unless the highpoint controller which provides a RAID expansion feature, there isn't any direct methods for you to expand RAID 5 array. If the RAID controller support to expand RAID 5, you need to insert a new hard disk into the existing hardware RAID and organize this RAID using the RAID controller. Some unallocated space will appear on this RAID. Then you can expand the RAID partition with the unallocated space. If you have difficulty in using the Controller, you can jump to Solution 1.

Solution 3. Add Extra Drive to Extend RAID 5

If RAID 5 is running out of disk space, you can add a new disk to extend the RAID 5. The most important thing is to back up data on RAID 5. Also, professional RAID backup software can help you back up data if you find it difficult to back up data manually.

back up raid 5 data with easeus todo backup

Then, follow the steps below to add extra  RAID 5 drive:

Step 1. Delete the three-drive array and re-create it as a four-drive array. 

Step 2. Connect the new disk to the computer and recombine the RAID 5 array by using the RAID controller with all the disks you want to utilize. 

Step 3. Restore the data to the new larger RAID 5 array.

If you add a disk that's larger than the other disks, it will be resized to match the capacity of the others. For example, if you have three 80 GB disks and add a 160 GB disk, you will only be able to use 80 GB of the 160 in your new configuration. The rest space of the drive will be unusable. 

 
 

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Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

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